|“||Well, in simple terms, I turned you into a vampire. Now, I'm gonna condition you to feed on other vampires instead of humans.||”|
— Wes to Joey in Total Eclipse of the Heart
Dr. Wesley "Wes" Maxfield was a professor at Whitmore College. His students describe him as brilliant, in spite of his arrogant teaching style. He has studied all of Grayson Gilbert's research, and is aware of the existence of vampires and quite possibly other supernatural species. He is obsessed with discovering a way to force vampires to feed on one another to eradicate them for good. Wes functions as the primary antagonist of the secondary storyline of the first half of Season 5, the season in which he debuts in.
Not much is known about Wes' early life except for the fact he earned an MD-PhD from an unknown medical school. Wes eventually came to know about the existence of vampires while working with Dr, Grayson Gilbert and Aaron's father. At a later time, he had found a six-year-old Aaron Whitmore among his slaughtered parents. After this, he began to conduct the practices of experimenting on vampires. During the summer, after the death of Sara Whitmore, Wes became Aaron's legal guardian.
In True Lies, Wes opens his Applied Microbiology class by sharing a short history lesson with his students, encouraging them to imagine the smell of rotting corpses while they attend the bonfire later that night. He quickly calls out Caroline and Elena, who have enrolled in his class on a sleuthing mission, and exposes them as freshmen before dismissing them from his class.
Undeterred, Elena asks Jesse about Dr. Maxfield at the bonfire party, and Jesse shares with her that there's a rumor that the professor is a member of a secret society on campus.
Later, Wes finds Elena again to apologize, insisting he only embarrassed her because he has a reputation to uphold. He reveals that he knows who Elena is, and that he has studied all of her father's work. He invites her to his office hours; she declines, but he leaves the invitation open.
In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Dr. Maxfield is working in the lab with Jesse when Caroline arrives to take Jesse to the Remembrance Day event in Mystic Falls. Later, he checks Jesse's vitals in his lab after Jesse returns from Mystic Falls. Jesse cannot remember what happened to him, but Wes explains that Jesse has vampire blood in his system; he surmises that someone used vampire blood to heal him and then compelled him to forget about it. Before Jesse can figure out what the professor is talking about, Wes injects something into Jesse, which kills him.
In Monster's Ball, it was revealed that he is the guardian of Aaron. He and Elena share a dance and he tells her to leave campus because people are watching her. At the end of the party he take Aaron's car keys because Aaron was drunk, and he says that he cares for Aaron. Why he is Aaron's guardian was not revealed.
In Handle with Care, Dr. Maxfield is in his lab studying. Caroline and Katherine enter the lab to speak with him. Caroline ties him to a chair and drains him of vervain, Wes is worried it will kill him. He is then compelled to forget that Elena and Caroline are vampires and allow her to go to the Augustine meeting. Later on, Katherine returns to Wes Maxfield's lab after losing her tooth and asks her what is wrong. Dr. Maxfield says that she's dying and Katherine asks him to save her.
In Death and the Maiden, Wes is in his lab talking to Katherine about her recent problems. Maxfield says that she's aging and nothing can be done, much to her dismay. He also comments about her personality. Katherine then asks how much longer she has to live and Dr. Wes Maxfield says she has a few months.
In Dead Man on Campus, Wes is seen still experimenting on Jesse until he broke free and escaped. He is later trapped by Damon and injected with numerous specimens of his. Wes then reveals that he has been modifying vampires to feed on other vampires. As Damon begins to put the specimens back in place, he notices a bag of blood with a code on it, remarking that he was a part of Augustine's experiments. Wes reveals that Damon was one of Augustine's vampires, leading to Damon further remarking that Augustine allegedly disbanded over 60 years ago. Wes then gets out his trap and exposes Damon to a gaseous version of vervain, now with the intent to use Damon as a part of his experiments.
In The Cell, Wes drugs Elena and places her next to Damon's cell in the Whitmore House basement. Wes then reveals to Aaron the existence of vampires and how his family was aware of it. Wes then gives him a watch that belonged to his father and is supposed to help him somehow. He informs Aaron of his family's death and legacy, then asking him to join him. Rather then joining his cause, angry and now confused at this kept hidden from him, Aaron punches him in the face, knocking him unconscious.
In Fifty Shades of Grayson, Wes begins to experiment on Elena. He then sends the Augustiine Vampire to subdue Damon and Stefan. As he begins to experiment on Elena, Wes reveals startling revleations: Megan was killed by the Augustine Vampire and covered it up and how his experiments came from Grayson Gilbert. Wes prepares to inject his "vampire compound" into Elena and reveals it to be the cause of Jesse's undoing: the compound causes vampires to feed on vampires to eliminate the species. Stefan comees to her rescue and is knocked out by them both. Aaron then finds Wes and is astonished as to what Wes is doing, Wes attempts to apologize but Aaron angrily punches him for selling him out.
Wes doesn't appears in The Devil Inside but Aaron mentions that he cut off Wes's funding to keep Wes from experimenting on innocent vampires.In Total Eclipse of the Heart, Wes continues his vampire experiments in poor conditions, because Aaron cut off his sponsors. He has found himself a new test subject and tries to remake his "ripper poison" to create an Augustine vampire. He is making is research when mysterious woman Sloan appares and tells him that he is in danger and she would like to be his new sponsor. At the end of the episode when Damon and Enzo come after him, Wes is waiting them with travellers and then injects Damon with his "ripper poison" turning him to Augustine vampire.
In No Exit, Wes and the travellers track down Enzo and Damon as Damon feeds uncontrollably on Vampires due to the effects of the "Ripper Virus". They find the two at a suburban home where Damon just drained the blood of a newborn vampire. Wes has the travellers to create a barrier so Damon and Enzo are trapped in the house. Wes explains to Damon that he will lose control eventually and feed on Enzo. A while later, Damon loses control and feeds on Enzo, however, Wes injected Enzo with a toxin that increases the acidics in Enzo's blood, causing Damon's skin to shrivel as if touched by Vervain. Wes than tells Enzo to come with him, as he has one final task for him to accomplish to gain his freedom, or else get fed on by Damon. After being persuaded by Damon, Enzo leaves with Wes and his traveler faction.
In Gone Girl, Wes gets a call from Katherine, explaining that her daughter, Nadia, was bitten by a Hybrid and asks if he can take a sample of Werewolf venom so he can study it and attempt to create a cure. Wes arrives at the warehouse where Katherine and Nadia were hiding out. Nadia is shocked and scared at the sight of Wes; possibly she had been told what he did to vampires, and even attempts to fend him off. After Katherine calms Nadia down, Wes sticks a syringe in her bite wound and ejects some venom. He tells Katherine he'll try to make the cure. However, Wes was just using them as a part of his experiments, and needed the venom to enhance the effect of the "Ripper Virus", as to complete his plan to rid the world of Vampires. When he finished and was packing up to head back to Nadia and Katherine, he heard a noise that startled him. Scared, he attempted to call Katherine, however, Damon appears behind him and breaks the phone. He spouts he wants the cure to turn him normal again. Wes says its not that simple; while talking he backs up to his lab table and grabs the syringe with the enhanced "Ripper Virus". He continues to explain that this is who Damon was. Damon reaches his breaking point and grabs Wes and shoves his hand in his chest, causing Wes to drop the syringe. He than shoves Wes onto his operating table and says "My turn to be Doctor". Damon takes a scalpel and uses it to take out Wes's eye. He is then further tortured and killed.
Later on, Katherine finds Wes's body and also his last audio recording explaining that he invented a new strain of the "Ripper Virus" that enhances the effects that Damon has. She uses the syringe on herself so when she dies, Elena will have to deal with the effects without a cure, since Wes is dead.
While generally described as brilliant by his students at Whitmore College, Wes often comes off as arrogant in his knowledge of microbiology. He is also somewhat of a disciplinarian, as he thoroughly embarrassed both Caroline Forbes and Elena Gilbert when they tried to sneak into his class as college freshmen. Wes is also shown to be very observant as he knew Aaron was drinking just by walking pass him and took his keys and gave him money for a cab.
Despite his personality, he does show some genuine concern for Aaron. However, he is willing to sometimes lie in order to protect Aaron from the supernatural. After Aaron's death, Wes displayed a fearless side of him, and even spoke defiantly against Damon despite knowing that the Vampire could kill him at any moment (which he did). Maxfield also shows characteristics of a mad scientist as he kidnapped and turned innocent people just so he can experiment on them and make them feed on other vampires. Being a scientist, he did not create anything that he had no means of controlling. He also viewed Magic as a "cheat"
Wes is a blonde man with blue eyes, looking to be in his mid-30's. He usually dresses in a preppy manner due to his occupation as a teacher, wearing lots of collared shirts, sweaters, and ties.
- True Lies
- For Whom the Bell Tolls
- Monster's Ball
- Handle with Care
- Death and the Maiden
- Dead Man on Campus
- The Cell
- Fifty Shades of Grayson
- Total Eclipse of the Heart
- No Exit
- Gone Girl
- While You Were Sleeping (Voice)
Wes is a variant of Wesley (Old English), and the meaning of Wes is "western meadow".
- Wes is an antagonist in Season Five.
- In True Lies, Jesse tells Elena that there is a rumor that Wes is a member of a 'Secret Society' at Whitmore College. Like the Founder's Council. It is later revealed that Wes is a member of Augustine.
- In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Wes finds out that someone had given Jesse some vampire blood and he injected him with needle that kills Jesse.
- In Monster's Ball, Wes hints he knows that Elena is a vampire and that she should drop out and move back to Mystic Falls.
- It's revealed in The Cell/Fifty Shades Of Grayson that Wes knew and worked with Elena's father on vampire experiments for Augustine.
- Wes wished to turn Elena into a vampire blood craving Ripper with a compound he created, though he does this to Damon.
- In Gone Girl, he creates a werewolf venom enhanced Ripper virus from Nadia's blood which Katherine uses on Elena.
- Wes is one of only seven recurring characters that appear in more than 10 episodes in it's inaugural season. The other six being Annabelle who appeared in 11 episodes during Season One, Elijah Mikaelson who appeared in 12 episodes during Season Two, Rebekah Mikaelson, who appeared in 17 episodes during Season Three, Atticus Shane who appeared in 11 episodes during Season Four and Nadia Petrova & Enzo who appeared in 12 episodes each in Season Five.
- Wes is the only major recurring character to have met or had scenes with the other 2 major recurring characters of his season (Nadia and Enzo).
- Wes is also the only one among them that is human since both Nadia and Enzo are vampires.
- Max is the legal guardian of Aaron, their exact relation to each other has yet to be revealed.
- He shares many similarities with both Ethan Crane and Jack from the novels.
- Wes is the second main human antagonist that has survived over a story arc. The first being Atticus Shane who also taught at Whitmore College.
- Damon likes to make doctor related pop culture references when speaking to or about Wes:
- Damon refers to him as Doogie, the name of the main character of Doogie Howser, M.D.
- Damon calls him Dr. Frankenstein, the famous mad scientist from the novel Fraknenstein.
- When confronting him Damon asks, "What's up, Doc?" which is a famous Bugs Bunny line.
- An MD-PhD is a dual doctoral degree that requires 7-8 years, which is 3-4 years longer than it takes someone to earn an MD alone. MD-PhD programs however, covers all tuition, provide students with a stipend, and cover their health insurance, allowing them to have financial equality with MDs who earn full clinical salary sooner but have to pay off large debt.
- Wes managed to team up with The Travelers to take down Damon and Enzo.